Brexit deadlines "in no-one's interests": Drakeford

Brexit deadlines "in no-one's interests": Drakeford

   January 09, 2018  
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Brexit deadlines "in no-one's interests": Drakeford

THE tight deadlines imposed on the Brexit process are “in no-one’s interests”, a top Welsh minister has said.

The Welsh Government’s finance secretary Mark Drakeford was speaking about the progress of the Brexit negotiations at a meeting of the Assembly's External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee yesterday.

The Labour minister said, with the UK set to leave the EU in just 15 months, there was little time to conduct some very complicated negotiations.

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“It’s in no-one’s interests to have very tight, precise deadline,” he said.

Hard deadline

“We need an idea of how long things will take, that is sensible, but if we have a hard deadline that does not aid good decision making. It means the beat of the drum becomes more important.

“We need to leave open the possibility that, if there are things we need to keep working on and better decisions can be made if we take a bit longer, we should let it take a bit longer.

“Flexibility could be in everyone’s interest at this point.”

The Welsh Government has claimed the EU Withdrawal Bill will result in powers over devolved areas currently held by Europe being handed to Westminster, rather than straight back to Wales.

And Mr Drakeford said the Welsh Government would continue to push for this to be changed before the bill was completed.

“There is no great difference between us and the UK Government in what we want to achieve,” he said. “But we can’t support them if they continue to go about it as they are.”

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